Schumann would probably roll over...
Hah! On my month long summer break from lessons I learned Schumann's Knight Rupert (from the Album for the Young) - I memorized it, could execute it, but man, when the teacher first heard it, lets just say there was much to be said
I mean it wasn't soo "butchered" but I had a ways to go with expression (naturally I guess after only a month)
Anyway - congratulations on deciding to take lessons again, that is a big step. The teacher will help you with all of the musical stuff you are seeking. If he/she doesn't go to length about "practice techniques" (probably won't) take a look at This thread on pianoforum.net
- look a responses from "Bernhard" and then enjoy getting addicted to the other posts of his (do a search on Bernhard, they just upgraded the software on that site, and all the internal links that he so generously fills his posts with are broken as of yesterday
(hopefully they'll fix it soon.) This thread is just a starting point. He's an older gentleman living in the UK with a lifetime of teaching and world experience and an ENORMOUS wealth of knowledge - and he knows how to make people suceed at piano in the least amount of time through years of trial and error developing his approach (actually, he'll claim it's not
his[/b] approach, he didn't invent any of it, but he sure does a great job of presenting it.) I wish he'd write a book to organize everything, but it's all on the threads on that forum. He has much to say about how to organize for, and plan practice so that even if you can only find 20 minutes at a time, you can still be very successfull in learning. (it's nothing magical or ubsurd, he's not saying "LEARN PIANO IN 20 MINUTES!" like you'd see on late night TV commercial or anything crazy like that, rather "20 minutes
at a time[/b] (as many times as your schedule permits but the other key being
at least once a day[/b]) for busy folks whose schedules don't permit a 2-3 hour block of practice.) It's grounded in proven theory of psychology of learning and having a disciplined and organized plan so that every minute you sit down to practice, you have a very specific plan and achievable goal for that particular practice session, the sum of the sessions quickly adding up to success.. It's legit, makes tons of sense once you understand it, and it makes it so much easier to be productive in both the short and long term. The hardest part is getting the hang of how to make a plan from a score, and then getting over the fact that it isn't quite intuitive at first (unless of course you've studied psycholgy of learning.) The intutive way to practice is to just sit down whenever you get a chance and open up whatever you are working on, pick a spot at random, or something you worked on a few days ago, and go work at until you feel like moving to something else.. This is incredibly ineffecient and the reason why so many people spend so much time developing so little repertoir.)
I'm going to be so nervous I'm sure I won't play well at all.
Yeah, you will probably play like crap your first lesson
don't worry about it though, that's the case with everybody and the teacher will expect nothing more. I get nervous every time I go to a lesson.. All that means is that you care.
Oh, and just an aside for any nay-sayers on taking any kind of fancy dancy scientific approach to learning piano, the techniques are aimed at providing a method to memorize and learn to play the notes on the score as quickly and efficiently as possible. ie. the "grunt work" and yes, you do still have to work hard. Having a good teacher to work on expression and musicality and all that other stuff is still vitally important. This method just lets you end up spending more time on the music after getting the stuff that can be approached scientifically out of the way (and no, you dont have to be at all scientifically inclined to make use of these planning techniques. All you need is a pencil.) Perhaps this is ringing a bell for any of the Chang readers out there? Bernhard and Chang both participate on the above mentioned forum, and they agree in many respects. Where Bernhard stands above Chang is in the whole psychology of learning/organization aspect of it, Chang doesn't go to that.)